Kituo Cha Sheria joined the world in commemorating the International Prisoners Justice Day marked on 10th August every year. The day that was celebrated at the Kamiti Maximum Prison brought together global citizens from all walks of life including inmates from various detention facilities, Human Rights organizations, law enforcement agencies and other non-state actors.
They all came together in solidarity and action to reflect on the current state of prisoners’ rights and also to celebrate, recognize and appreciate the efforts of prison paralegals.
The paralegals struggle to ensure that fellow prisoners access justice and are part of the tremendous reforms that detention facilities have made towards ensuring access to justice and humane prisons.
During the celebration each speaker who took to the podium emphasized on calls for further penal reforms and a more humane correctional system as well as matters related to access to justice within the detention facilities as a right guaranteed by the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
The rights groups also emphasized on the need for courts to have humane and alternative ways of sentencing petty offenders rather than sending them to jail leading to congestions in the detention facilities.
This year; Kituo, the Kenya Prisons Service and CEFA within the framework of the EU funded project Strengthening Human Rights within Correctional Facilities in Kenya; a project dubbed Imarisha Haki seeks to ensure the eradication of all forms of violence and torture within the detention facilities.
Kituo donated a desktop computer, tonners and stationery to the Kamiti Maximum Prison Justice Center to facilitate processing of legal documents.
Participants were welcomed to Kamiti Maximum Prison by Mr. Naderia Isaac, OIC Kamiti Maximum Prison who lauded Kituo and other organizations saying that the paralegal training conducted by the human rights organizations have not only enhanced access to justice within the detention facilities but have also helped eradicate cases of indiscipline.
Speakers at the event included Ms. Zeinab Hussein, CBS Principal Secretary State Department of Correctional & Rehabilitation Services who noted that the day’s celebrations served as a reminder of the pivotal role that the Kenya Prisons Service (KPS) has continued to play in the regional corrections arena. This year’s theme also resonated well with the reform agenda within KPS geared toward embracing correctional strategies based on humane treatment of offenders.
Guests at the event included Mr. Hubert Perr (Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation in Kenya), Vittoria Azarello-CEFA, KNCHR Commissioner Suzanne Shatikha Chivusia, Kituo’s programme manager Ms. Faith Ochieng’, among others.